It’s getting really, really hard to be a Tim Burton apologist these days.  Lord knows I’ve tried.  I’ve seen every Tim Burton movie In theaters (accept Peewee’s Big Adventure since I was hardly a year old).  Peewee’s Big Adventure and Beetlejuice are two films I turn to when I need a pick-me-up and never get sick of them.  I even pride myself on being one of those odd Tim Burton fans who boasts controversial views such as Batman Returns is far and away better than the original.  When Burton changed from his black/white/grey/purple color palate and began exploring brighter and more complex templates I still backed him up.  I can even keep a straight face when I say that I enjoy Charlie and the Chocolate factory.  Sure Alice in Wonderland was a tremendous disappointment and made me question the vitality of Burton’s soul and mourn for the world of cinema, but I still held out that Burton could get that spark back.  I said, to myself or whoever would listen, Burton still has to have something left inside him that will blow our collective minds.

Sadly I don’t think Dark Shadows is going to be it.

I can’t even begin to garner up enthusiasm to support Burton’s next effort, not based on these new set photos that appeared on something called Celebuzz, but I got from Latino Review.  Make the jump for more, but this one picture ought to give you a good enough idea of what we have going on here:

Here’s what I think it happening, Burton and Depp are using this Dark Shadows film as a cover to make their ultra secret Michael Jackson biopic.  Now that I would be excited about.

Burton and Depp have a lot of ground to make up for with Alice in Wonderland (I understand not financially, but in the eyes of fans who have been following their work for decades they need to rebuild confidence).  I was really hoping Dark Shadows might be a return to the Ed Wood days with a black and white template and the perfect harmony of irony and heart.  I fear these pictures may be revealing that we are heading deeper into the world of style over substance we saw in Alice and blowhards have been accusing Burton of for years.  Perhaps he’s starting to buy into those accusations himself and going all out in response.  The real question to ask is how long until those glasses go on sale at Hot Topic and fourteen year old girls start rocking them?